Suspect pulls gun, takes four hostages inside jail including cop and corrections officer


ORANGE COUNTY, FL – Reports indicate that a 25-year-old suspect was shot by authorities inside of a county jail in Florida after he’d allegedly taken four people hostage.

Law Enforcement Today has learned that the hostages involved were a sheriff’s deputy, a corrections officer, a nurse, and another inmate inside the jail.

Suspect pulls gun, takes four hostages inside jail including cop and corrections officer
Eric Jefferson Stanley – Orange County Jail

The incident happened on March 21st inside of the Orange County Jail, according to Orange County Sheriff John Mina.

Eric Jefferson Stanley was one of two suspects who were arrested under suspected drug charges at around 5:00 p.m. on the day the shooting happened.

While Stanley was getting booked inside of the intake area of the jail, he’d allegedly produced a handgun and began taking hostages.

Sheriff Mina stated that three Orange County deputies and two Orlando police officers had tried closing in on Stanely from outside the jail’s intake area.

Sometime during that attempt, law enforcement were able to open fire and strike Stanley once in the shoulder.

However, this did not end the stand-off.

The sheriff said that Stanley continued to hold his position for 90 minutes while police tried to negotiate with him. According to Sheriff Mina, the de-escalation tactics worked:

“He threw the gun away, distanced himself from the gun, and it was at that point our SWAT team moved in and secured him.”

No victims were injured during the incident, according to police. As for Stanley, he sustained non-life-threatening injuries from the gunshot wound to the shoulder. He was transferred to the Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Stanley can forget about whatever drug charges he was facing, as this alleged incident is going to be creating a new string of charges related to the hostage situation.

Last week, Law Enforcement Today also reported on a suspect getting shot in Miami Beach, Florida. Although there were no hostages involved in that encounter, there were some panicked Spring Breakers fleeing the scene. 

An encounter between an armed man and police inside of a hotel lobby in Miami Beach ended with a suspect being shot. I guess you could say that’s one way to end spring break with a bang.

The popular destination for spring break goers and college kids looking to consume several libations while enjoying the view of the beach turned into a near-fatal encounter for an armed man inside a hotel lobby on March 14th.

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At roughly 8:30 p.m. that evening, 22-year-old Jonathan Hall was spotted by a bartender working inside the Barbizon Hotel on Ocean Drive. The bartender said Hall had a gun tucked in his waistband.

The bartender working the lobby notified the hotel’s management, who later reached out to the Miami Beach Police working nearby.

When the officers made their way into the hotel, they immediately encountered Hall.

Police attempted to administer verbal commands to the suspect, who was allegedly failing to comply. According to Miami Beach Police Union President Kevin Millan, Hall made an “overt act” which prompted a response by police to fire on the suspect.  

However, Millan did not divulge what commands officers administered to Hall, nor did he state what the overt act was, just that the three responding officers reacted with gunfire. 

The suspect was then rushed to a nearby hospital. The last reported update on March 15th listed him as still being critical condition. No others were injured in the gunfire.

Locals fled the scene after the officers’ guns went off.

When speaking to the Miami Herald about the incident, Millan noted the following:

“The bottom line is that if you come out here and you have a gun and you don’t comply with officers’ commands, they are going to be forced to take action to safeguard themselves and the public.”

One of the guests inside the hotel at the time, Michael Swanberg, stated that he was watching TV in his room when the gunshots rang off.

He described the chaos that ensued saying people were stampeding in the streets and flipping tables to flee the scene once the gunshots were heard. 

He also said:

“Dozens of cops and a SWAT team came in instantly.”

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber explained how the tourist attraction aspects of his city is also contributing to their inability to combat COVID-19’s spread:

“Now that there’s no school and every college has made this decision, we’re now in a position that frankly is going to be very challenging. Unfortunately, they are a group that doesn’t feel as threatened [by COVID-19] as our seniors, who are listening to our directions conscientiously.”

According to local news crews in the area, portions of the city have been getting shut down in light of COVID-19.

With said closures, locals have become frustrated at the idea of entertainment-based outings being upended.

The shutdowns have impacted areas like South Beach, which has put a stop to large congregations, upsetting the party-goers who frequent the beach.

One local stated the following on that note:

“How are you going to make us leave at 5 o’clock, you know what I mean? The beach is still light out. I’ve got a pineapple with me. I’m just trying to enjoy myself. I’m not going to argue the law, but I just don’t understand it.”

Even though popular spots have been flagged for non-assembly in Miami Beach, locals have noted that the crowds will simply find somewhere else to congregate.

Yet, according to Mayor Gelber, he’s saying that “spring break is over” when it pertains to his city: “We’re hoping that people go to their rooms and go home. We don’t want this crowd here for spring break. We don’t want them.”

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